Bulls extend Friday road show, beat Celtics in OT


Associated Press

BOSTON — In the midst of a boisterous Bulls locker room, players talked about what a crazy game it was. It was only fitting that they won it on a tough, unconventional shot.

Marco Belinelli made an off-balance fadeaway with 3.1 seconds left, Jimmy Butler scored six points in overtime and Chicago extended its Friday night road show by beating the Boston Celtics 100-99.

“That’s natural. I know it’s a crazy shot, the fallaway. The ball went in,” said Belinelli, who was given an ice bucket shower by teammate Taj Gibson.

Looking as though they were finally going to get beat in a Friday road game, Chicago pushed the game to overtime when it forced a jump ball before Kirk Hinrich hit a jumper with 2 seconds to play in the fourth quarter.

Then it was the second-year Butler who carried the Bulls, scoring six straight points. Jason Terry’s jumper had put Boston ahead 99-98 in OT before Belinelli’s game-winner just to the left of the foul line.

“It was really fun being out there with my guys. It’s crazy they have me out there,” Butler said, with teammate Richard Hamilton yelling, “Way to go Jimbo!” in the background.

“They had faith in me,” Butler said. “Whenever I scored a basket they kept yelling, ‘Keep going Jimmy!’”

Butler finished with 13 points.

Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 20 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added 14 points and 13 boards as the Bulls won their 14th straight road game on a Friday. They haven’t lost since April 2011.

“It was a crazy game. It was a roller-coaster,” Hamilton said. “We made plays and thought we had it.”

Rajon Rondo scored a season-high 30 points for Boston before fouling out with 1:16 to play in overtime.

Kevin Garnett had 16 points and Paul Pierce passed former Celtics star Robert Parish for 22nd on the NBA’s career scoring list by chipping in 13.

Pierce has 23,342 points and Parish 23,334.

“We had the game in our hands a couple of times and it just slipped through our fingers both times,” Pierce said. “Just the little things. It just goes to show you that little things can prove costly in this league if you are not on point throughout the whole game. They beat us tonight.”

Brandon Bass added 13 points for Boston, which lost for the second time in eight games.

Hamilton had 20 points for the Bulls, who have won four of five.

The teams traded leads twice in the opening 3 minutes of overtime before Terry’s 3-pointer from the right corner gave Boston a 93-92 lead with 1:57 to play. Butler had a basket on the other end to move the Bulls back in front and, after Boston missed on the offensive end, Rondo was called for a loose ball foul, sending Butler to the line. He nailed both, making it 96-93 with 1:16 left.

The Bulls had another three-point lead, 98-95, after Belinelli’s two free throws with 51 seconds to go. Pierce hit two from the line and Boston forced a 24-second violation — when Belinelli fired a corner jumper off the top of the backboard, setting it up for Terry’s go-ahead jumper with 12.5 seconds to play.

But Belinelli nailed his off-balance shot and Courtney Lee’s long shot at the buzzer caromed off the backboard as the horn sounded.

In regulation, Rondo’s long jumper from the right wing gave Boston an 86-84 edge, but Boozer hit one free throw after being fouled by Pierce on a baseline drive with 23 seconds left.

Garnett then nailed two free throws with 20.1 seconds remaining and Hinrich hit one, cutting it to 88-86.

The Bulls forced the jump ball on the defensive end with 9.4 seconds left and gained possession before tying it on Hinrich’s jumper.

Garnett airballed a long fadeaway as the horn sounded, sending the game to OT.

“We talked about it — you knew they were going to trap,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said, “and you’ve got to do whatever you can do not to get tied up.”

Rondo scored five points in Boston’s 6-0 run, giving the Celtics their first lead at 80-79 with 4 minutes to go.

Hamilton’s layup gave the Bulls an 81-80 edge on the next possession before the teams started to trade trips to the foul line that led to pair of ties over the next 3 minutes, the last before the end of regulation when Garnett made one of two free throws to tie it at 84 with 2:20 left.

The Celtics tied it again at 79 on Rondo’s two free throws a little over a minute later.

Bulls forward Luol Deng appeared to aggravate his sore right hamstring, injured in Wednesday’s win at Toronto, when he came up limping after a fast-break drive to the basket late in the third quarter. He left the game for a substitute when play stopped.

After the game, Deng said he wasn’t sure if he could play Saturday.

“It’s pretty swollen,” he said.

Boston guard Avery Bradley missed the game with a rib injury sustained in Wednesday’s loss to New Orleans.

Noah had his double-double after three quarters, collecting 12 points and 10 boards. Boozer had 17 points and 15 rebounds after three.

Rondo had a highlight three-point play late in the third quarter that cut the Bulls’ lead to 62-59. He was dribbling to the right of the lane when he lost his balance, falling to the floor, but kept his dribble going before getting up and driving in for a basket and a foul.

NETS 94, HAWKS 89

NEW YORK — Deron Williams scored 24 points, making four free throws in the final 43.4 seconds, and Brooklyn beat Atlanta to earn a split of their home-and-home series.

Brook Lopez added 20 points for the Nets, who bounced back from a 109-95 loss in Atlanta on Wednesday that snapped their seven-game winning streak. Former Hawks guard Joe Johnson finished with 18 points and Reggie Evans grabbed 20 rebounds as the Nets beat the Hawks for the first time in seven meetings.

Jeff Teague had 21 points and 10 assists for the Hawks, who played without starting center Al Horford and lost key reserve Lou Williams to a serious-looking right knee injury. Former Nets guard Devin Harris scored 17 and Josh Smith had 12 points and nine rebounds in his return from a one-game suspension, but shot just 5 of 15.

The Hawks were only 5 of 22 from the field in the fourth quarter and lost for the seventh time in nine games.

SPURS 95, WARRIORS 88

SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and San Antonio held off Golden State to extend its home winning streak to 14 games.

Tony Parker added 25 points and eight assists for the Spurs (31-11), an NBA-best 18-2 at home. Tiago Splitter added 19 points and nine rebounds, and Danny Green scored 13.

David Lee had 22 points, Klay Thompson added 21 and Jarrett Jack 20 for Golden State (23-15).

The Spurs closed the game on a 9-4 run after Harrison Barnes’ jumper pulled the Warriors to 86-84 with 5 minutes left.

Duncan had eight points in the final quarter, going 4 for 6 from the field.

GRIZZLIES 85, KINGS 69

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mike Conley scored 19 points, Marc Gasol added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Memphis snapped a three-game losing streak with a victory over Sacramento.

All five Memphis starters were in double figures. Tony Allen had 14 points, nine rebounds and six assists, Rudy Gay scored 15 and Marreese Speights finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

DeMarcus Cousins was the only Sacramento player in double figures with 22 points and 12 rebounds as the Kings, limited to 34 percent shooting, had their two-game winning streak stopped.

The Grizzlies played without forward Zach Randolph, who sat out with a back strain.

PACERS 105, ROCKETS 95

INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George scored 31 points and David West had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Indiana past Houston.

The Central Division-leading Pacers (25-16) have won 11 straight home games — their longest streak since winning 14 in a row in 2002-03 — and tied New York for the second-most wins in the Eastern Conference.

Houston (21-20) has lost six in a row overall and five consecutive road games. The Rockets were led by Omer Asik with 22 points. James Harden added 17, but ended a career-best streak of 22 straight games with 20 or more points.

76ERS 108, RAPTORS 101, OT

PHILADELPHIA — Jrue Holiday had a career-high tying 33 points and 14 assists, including all 12 of Philadelphia’s points in overtime, and the 76ers overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to defeat Toronto.

Thaddeus Young added 27 points and 14 rebounds while Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen had 12 apiece for the Sixers.

Ed Davis had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors. Terrence Ross and Alan Anderson each scored 18.

Kyle Lowry had 11 points and 11 assists before fouling out for Toronto, which fell to 4-17 on the road. The injury-depleted Raptors lost their fourth in a row.

A basket by Hawes cut it to 96-94 with 5 seconds left in regulation, and a turnover by Jose Calderon gave the Sixers one last chance. Holiday delivered with a tough drive and layup with 1.1 seconds left to force overtime.

BOBCATS 106, MAGIC 100

ORLANDO, Fla. — Kemba Walker had 25 points and eight rebounds, and Gerald Henderson added 17 points as Charlotte beat Orlando to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Bobcats evened the season series with the Magic and now return home for four consecutive games, beginning with Sacramento on Saturday.

Charlotte started fast and shot the ball well throughout, with its field goal percentage hovering above 50 percent for most of the night. The Bobcats also shot 17 more free throws than Orlando, including some crucial ones in the final minute to secure the victory.

Arron Afflalo led the Magic with 23 points, followed by Jameer Nelson with 22.

Orlando has lost its last six games against teams with records below .500.

WIZARDS 112, NUGGETS 108

DENVER — Bradley Beal scored 23 points, John Wall blocked Ty Lawson’s attempt for a tying layup in the final seconds and Washington held off Denver to snap an eight-game road losing streak.

Kevin Seraphin added 18 points while Wall and Trevor Ariza scored 14 apiece for the Wizards, who picked up their second win away from home this season. They entered a league-worst 1-16 on the road.

Wall also had 12 assists. Nene had seven points for Washington in his return to Denver, where he played for nearly 10 years before being sent to Washington last March as part of a three-team trade.

Lawson scored 29 points to lead the Nuggets, who lost at home for only the third time in 18 games. He had made 10 consecutive shots from the floor before Wall rejected his layup in the final moments.

 

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